By Shona Duthie
Last Updated: 12/07/18 3:08pm
Mikel Merino in action for Newcastle
Mikel Merino has signed a permanent deal to join La Liga side Real Sociedad from Newcastle.
Merino leaves St James’ Park for an undisclosed fee having made 24 Premier League appearances for Rafa Benitez’s side.
According to Sky sources, Merino’s buyout clause was Â£10m.
A message on the club website read: “Everyone at Newcastle United wishes the player the best for the future.”
The 22-year-old moved to the Magpies on loan from Borussia Dortmund last summer before he joined on a permanent deal in October 2017 – he scored once in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
Real Sociedad finished 12th in the Spanish top flight last season and are based in San Sebastian, just 50 miles from Merino’s hometown of Pamplona.
Merino started his career at Osasuna, scoring eight goals in total during his 67 appearances for the first team before joining Dortmund in 2016.
He has featured for the Spanish U19 and U21s national football teams. During the U19 2015 European Championship in Greece, he scored the first goal of the tournament in a 3-0 win over holders Germany.